Book reviews of YA lit and more

As a middle school librarian and hopeful reader of Missouri's high school award books (Gateway nominees), I am reading and reviewing as many young adult and middle grade novels as I can while working on my own writing for this age group.

Monday, June 27, 2011

We Were Here- Matt De La Pena

This book opens with Miguel in trouble.  He is a half white/ half Mexican boy from California that has landed himself in "juvie".  From there he moves to a group home, where he is to serve his time of one year.  It is in juvie and the group home that he meets Rondell, a very large African-American boy that has bounced from foster home to foster home, and Mong, a Chinese kid that is a wild card.  These three unlikely friends decide to escape the group home and travel south to Mexico and start a new life.  The book is written as Miguel's journal as they travel.  They have some interesting adventures and learn a lot about life, themselves, forgiveness, and facing their demons as they travel.  None of them are the same by the time they reach the border.  This book would work well for high school boys, but I could see girls liking it also.  It is difficult to read about the boys' lives at times, so it wouldn't work for kids that are sensitive.  It makes you look at troubled kids much differently after you read what these boys have been through.

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